If you are a voluntary adult patient, you have the right to consent to or refuse taking antipsychotic medications (except in an emergency). You may be treated with antipsychotic medications only after the hospital has completed the informed consent process, which is defined below.
If you are on an involuntary hold, you have the right to refuse treatment with antipsychotic medications unless the situation is an emergency or a hearing officer or a judge has determined that you are incapable of making this decision.
The Informed Consent Process
Before you give your consent to take any antipsychotic medication, your doctor must first explain to you the following:
- The reasons for your taking this medication and the benefits that you can expect
- Your right to withdraw your consent at any time
- The type and the amount of medication and how often you must take it
- The common side effects from taking the medication, the effects that you are most likely to experience, and how long the doctor expects you will need to take the medication
- Alternative treatments that are available (if any)
- The potential long-term side effects of taking the medication